John Herod, the owner of Schlotzky’s Deli and Cinnabon in Abilene, Texas realized that the level of customer service in his store was dropping. “It was not a secret with our customers as to what was happening, the poor service, there weren’t a lot of smiles, the service was slower than what our customers deserved, and that we expected,” Herod said of the atmosphere in his store.
He could have simply retrained his employees, or hoped that talking to them would help matters…or paid them more. Instead, he tried a different approach.
To instill in his employees the message that customer service is extremely important, he simply closed up shop for a little while and sent employees home. He feels that his employees’ “attitude problems” are so pervasive that a day or two of retraining simply would not do. Instead, the staff will be trained from the ground up in everything from cleaning to food preparation. Herod explained,
“I want employees to have time to think about the job they were doing, and the service they were giving out, so part of it is internal, for each employee.”
A sign in front of the establishment originally read “Closed for Attitude Adjustment: Reopening Dec 4.” However, as there was more “adjusting” needed than Herod originally anticipated, the date has been pushed to December 9.
One customer, who tried unsuccessfully to visit the drive-thru, said upon realizing the restaurant was closed that he liked the idea. “At least it lets us know that he is doing something about it.”
Will his drastic tactic succeed in ensuring that his customers receive an adequate level of customer service? Is this an appropriate action to take? Could, perhaps, the owner have devised a solution that did not publicly shame his employees? Will we ever figure out where in the world Carmen Sandiego is hiding?
We’ll find out Monday…well, maybe not that last bit.
Share your thoughts below!